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Maceration - A Serenade of Agony (Reissue)

A Serenade of Agony (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 23 June 2022, 4:46 AM

During the early days of the 90’s, the second generation of Death Metal bands came and took by storm the underground scene, and as Thrash Metal was being taken out of its commercial success due the coming of Grunge Rock and Alternative Rock scene in the USA, it became strong and called the attention of the fans. And it’s not surprising to have many releases of those days that never got the due attention, what happened with “A Serenade of Agony”, the first album of the Danish quartet MACERATION.

On the album, one will find the classic format of Death Metal, as conceived by DEATH, POSSESSED, MASTER, MASSACRE and others, but presenting some elements heard on acts as ENTOMBED, BOLT THROWER and others bands of those days: a brutal and oppressive form of music, played with a crude sonority, with some fast moments and slower parts, but always with that hooking and nasty energy of the genre. Maybe the words can give a wrong idea of what is heard on the album, so the best way is to have the simple experience of listening to it, and having in mind that’s a reissue of an album released originally on 1992. On the band, Jacob Hansen and Jakob Schultz, both of INVOKATOR, and Day Disyraah (in reality, Dan Swanö, on those days the vocalist of EDGE OF SANITY, and is known for his singing on BLOODBATH and NIGHTINGALE), an attractive point for the fans. The album originally had Lars Lindum and Søren Fabian sharing the production, engineering, and mixing of the album (the remastering was done by the band’s guitarist, Lars Bangsholt), but as one can check, it’s rotten and filthy, something that Old School Death Metal fans are used to. It’s organic and brutal, but it’s not so hard to understand what’s being played.

The original version of the album had 8 songs, something common in those days. And to check the good work the band was up to back then, check “Silent Lay the Gentle Lamb” (a song with crude elements of early Death Metal mixed with some Thrash Metal influences boosted by nasty and hooking guitar riffs), “A Serenade of Agony” (a chaotic and massive song, with simple technical work and good grunts), “Transmogrified” (where the inner elements of Hardcore that the genre bears are clear, with nasty and simple work of bass guitar and drums), “The Watcher” (an oppressive Old School Death Metal song with very good hooks), and “Reincarnation/Time Flies” (the scent of the influences of Floridian Death Metal are clear, especially on the distorted guitar solos). But for those fans that ask for ‘something more’, on the CD version, there are 11 bonus tracks that come from their 1990’s Rehearsal Tape, the official Demo Tape released on 1990, and two live shots recorded in 1992 and 1993. Yes, and as tips, you must pay attention to “Hideous Disfigurements”, “Incombustible Remains” and “Time Flies”, as well as their versions for OBITUARY’s “Slowly We Rot”, “Suffocation” and “Godly Beings”. And the live versions for “Silent Lay the Gentle Lamb” and “The Mind Rampant” are pretty good.

Yes, this reissue for “A Serenade of Agony” comes in a very good moment, because MACERATION is recording a new album. It’s a good way to wait for it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Intro/Silent Lay the Gentle Lamb
2. A Serenade of Agony
3. Transmogrified
4. Pain and Pleasure Incarnate
5. The Watcher
6. The Mind Rampant
7. Reincarnation/Time Flies
8. The Forgotten
9. Hideous Disfigurements
10. Incombustible Remains
11. Total Obstipation
12. Time Flies
13. Slowly We Rot (Obituary Cover)
14. Suffocation (Obituary cover)
15. Godly Beings (Obituary cover)
16. Incombustible Remains
17. Hideous Disfigurements
18. Silent Lay the Gentle Lamb (live)
19. The Mind Rampant (live)
Day Disyraah - Vocals, Keyboards, Piano
Lars Bangsholt - Guitars
Jakob Schultz - Bass, Lead Guitars
Jacob Hansen - Drums, Lead Guitars
Record Label: Emanzipation Productions


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